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1922 Camas Women’s Club conceives idea of public library. “Each was to buy for own reading three standard books and when these were read, the books were either resold for the library fund or presented to the library outright.”

1923 Library opens with 150 State Library books in space donated by Thayer’s drugstore.

1924 Library moves to former council chambers in old city hall at 3rd and Cedar.

1926 City council finally opened purse and voted $250 for books and $150 for maintenance.

1928 Total number of registered library cardholders is 500.

1929 The State Traveling Library was discontinued; nearly one thousand books from it were given to the Camas collection.

1929 City adopts library as a municipal function.

1932 Eva Santee, first librarian with a Masters degree, is hired for $75 per month.

1939 Camas votes bond to build new city hall/library complex.

1940 The new building, designed by Vancouver architect Day Hilborn, opens.

1967 New municipal center constructed; library retains old building.

1975 An expansion and modernization of the Georgian Colonial (Revival) style building completed.

1990 Reference workstation featuring CD-ROM is installed for public use.

1992 Online card catalog is installed and circulation is automated and consortium formed. Volunteers donate 100’s of hours to barcode collections. System also provides access to collection of Fort Vancouver Regional and Clark College libraries.

1993 Dial-up access to the library catalogs becomes available.

1994 Board of Trustees and City Council resolve that the Camas Public Library remain an independent public library.

1996 The Library’s “leaky” roof is replaced. First Internet computer installed.

1997 Southwest Washington Medical Center Library joins consortium. The Library’s interior is painted and new carpet is installed.

1998 Library celebrates 75 years of library service in Camas.

2000 Voters pass a $7.9 million bond in March 2000. Architectural firm of Fletcher, Farr, and Ayotte (now FFA Architecture and Design) is hired to do the design work and DPR Construction is awarded the contract to build and renovate the facility.

2001 In September 2001, the library moves its operation, books and all, to temporary quarters at the old Camas National Guard Armory on NW Tenth.

2003 The Library moves back to its renovated and expanded home in April 2003. The Grand Opening was celebrated on May 10, 2003.

2005 A new integrated library system (SirsiDynix) is installed.

2008 Camas Public Library rated best in Washington State by Hennen American Public Library Ranking.  Items borrowed exceeds 300,000. The Friends & Foundation of Camas Library is formed when the Friends of Camas Public Library and the Camas Library Foundation merged. The library adds outdoor signage.

2010 Library begins to offer downloadable audiobooks and eBooks. The library switches to Radio Frequency IDentification for speedier transactions and adds an automated materials handling system to facilitate restocking of library materials.

2011 Library reduces hours and new materials expenditures in response to reduced budget.

2013 The library celebrates two significant birthdays: 90 years since the first library opened in Camas, and 10 years since the building was expanded and remodeled. As part of the celebration, 90 people circled the building to ‘hug the library‘ (the first in Washington state and first west coast public library to do so). The library begins to offer digital magazines.


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